History of Uttarakhand ;An Introduction


Uttarakhand the place which is known as ‘Land of gods’ or ‘ Devbhumi’. The Himalaya, believed to be the dwelling place of lord Shiva- the destroyer among the three principal gods of hindu trinity has drawn travellers and mystics alike since time immemorial.The names’ Manas’ ‘Kedarkhand’ and ‘ Kurmachal’ are assigned to this place in puranas.

Uttarankhand finds mention in the ancient hindu scriptures as kedarkhand,Manaskhand and Himavant.The kushanas,kunindas , kanishka ,samudra gupta, the pauravas , katuris , palas , the chandras and panwars and the british have ruled it in turns.it has various holy places and abundant shrines.

Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, the state has international boundaries with china ( Tibet) in the north and Nepal in the east.on its north west lies Himachal Pradesh while on the south is uttar Pradesh.

Blessed with magnificent glaciers, sparkling and joyful milky rivers , gignantic and ecstatic Himalayan peaks ,natural biospheres , valleys full of flowers ,skiing slopes and dense forests , this abode of gods includes many shrines and places of pilgrimage.This is the land where Vedas and shastras were composed and where the great Indian epic Mahabharatha was written.The land has always been source of inspiration for nature lovers and seekers of peace and spirituality.

Uttarakhand is a newly formed state in the north western part of india.The state was formed in 2000 and initially got the name Uttaranchal. In January 2007,the name of the state was officially changed from Uttaranchal to uttarakhand .Uttarakhand is the ancient puranic term for the central stretch of Indian Himalayan containing some of hinduism’s most sacred pilgrimage spots.

The region was dominated by the Garhwal kingdom in the west and the Kumaon kingdom in the east during the medieval period . in 1791,the expanding Gurkha empire ,current Nepal ,overran almora , the seat of the kumaon kingdom .in the 1803,the Garhwal kingdom also fell to the Anglo- Nepalese war in 1816,the Garhwal kingdom was reestablished from Tehri,and eastern british Garhwal and Kumaon ceded to the british as part of the treaty of Sugauli.

In the post-independence period , the Tehri princely state was merged into uttar Pradesh state , where uttarakhand composed the Garhwal and Kumaon divisions. Until 1998 , uttarakhand was the name most commonly used to refer to the region , as various political groups including most significantly the uttarakhand kranti dal ,began agitating for separate statehood under its banner .Although the hill kingdom of Garhwal and Kumaon were traditional rivals with diverse lingual and cultural influences due to the proximity of different neighbouring ethnic groups ,their geography ,economy , culture ,language and traditions created strong bonds between the two regions .these bonds formed the basis of the new political identity of uttarakhand ,which gained significant momentum in1994,when demand for separate statehood achieved almost unanimous acceptance among the local populace as well as political parties at the national level.

The people of uttarakhand took part significantly in freedom struggle . 2334 jawans became martyrs of UP in the struggles after independence in which half were from uttarakhand . there are more than 3 lakh ex-soldiers in uttarakhand . there are two regiments of uttarakhand in Indian army – kumaon and Garhwal regiments.


Movement for the formation of new state continued for a very long time.such movement actually starting before the independence.the long struggle for a state of uttarakhand may be summarised in the following :

 To discuss the local problem,kumaon council was constituted in 1916 AD. The main functionaries were – govind vallabh pant , taradatta garola and badridatta pandey.

 Jawaharlal Nehru extensively supported the right of hilly people for the development of their culture and to take decision according to their circumstances at the congress session organized at shrinagar of Garhwal region in 1938.

 In 1938 AD shridev suman organized ‘Gaehdesh sewa sangh’ in delhi which was later named as ‘ Himalaya sewa sangh’.

 It was demanded by Badridatta pandey to special category to hilly region and constitution of separate unit for kumaon – garhwal by Ansuya Prasad bahuguna at haldwani-conference in 1946.

 In 1950,after independence ‘hilly people’s development committee’ was constituted for great Himalayan state( himachal and uttarakhand).

 In 1955,Fazal ali commission recommended for the formation of separate state of hilly region.

 In june 1967, ‘ hilly state council’ was formed under chairmanship of Dayakrishna pandey,Deputy chairman as govind singh mehra and general secretary as Narayan data sundriyal.

 In 1970,P.C.joshi formed ‘kumaon Rashtriya Morcha.’

 In 1979,’uttarakhand kranti dal’ was formed at mussourie for the demand of separate hilly state.

 In june ,1987 at karnprayag,declaration of struggle for the formation of separate uttarakhand state in ali parties conference was made.

 In the chairmanship of shobhan singh jeema of Bjp ,’uttaranchal progress council’ was constituted in 1988.

 ‘ in February ,1989,many organizations unitedly constituted ‘uttarakhand united struggle committee’ for running of united movement for a separate state.

 In 1991,a proposal was passed by BJP government in U.P. legislative assembly for formation of separate Uttaranchal state and the proposal was sent to central government for acceptance.

 ‘kausik committee’was constituted for the formation of uttarakhand by the then chief minister Mulayam singh yadav.

 The people’s movement of 1994 proved a mile-stone for the formation of Uttaranchal state.the leaders of U.K.D. kept fasting,wheel –jammed in the whole province and sabotages too place.many people died at khateema by police firing on agitators.the police tortured the agitators at Muzaffarnagar when they were going to new delhi by buses.many agitators died in dharna and procession at many places in the whole state.

 On the 15th august ,1996,the then prime minister H.D.dev gowda declared the formation of uttarakhand state from the Red fort and a bill was sent for the acceptance of U.P. legislative assembly.

 27th july,2000 – the government of india presented in parliament the ‘uttarpradesh Reconstitution bill-2000’.

 August 2000-the aforesaid bill was passed by the lok sabha and rajya sabha,the bill was assented by the president of india.

 9th November ,2000-the newly formed state of Uttaranchal ,27th state of country,came into existence.

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